IT’S DRIED PERSIMMON TIME!

Delicious Dried Persimmons

It’s definitely fall here in Santa Cruz- although it’s the start of winter in much of the country. Here we don’t get the glorious fall colors of my native Ohio, but we do get gloriously colored fall produce, like the Persimmons. You probably know there are at least two common varieties of this fruit—Fuyu, which can be eaten right away, and Hiyachi, which need to be completely ripe and mushy before eating or cooking in most ways (otherwise they are very astringent, due to their tannin content). However, there’s a great way to use either of these persimmon varieties, especially when not quite ripe- dried persimmons!  That’s the beauty of drying persimmons—it’s actually better when they’re firm. And the astringency somehow goes away.

It’s quite easy—just slice them, put the slices on cookie racks, bake slowly, and Voila—A yummy and healthy snack! Rick also discovered that the dried fruit can be added to hot tea- another delicious way to enjoy them.

INGREDIENTS/Supplies

Persimmons- any variety, especially when still firm; (one tip- drying persimmons takes a lot more than you think- they do dry up!)

Spray oil (your choice- I use TJ’s spray canola oil)

Baking racks- such as for cooling cookies

Cookie baking pans (optional)–you can put the baking racks on top of the cookie sheets/pans if you like, or add the baking racks directly on your standard oven racks.

TO DO ( preheat oven to 180-200 degrees F

1. Cut off stems and Slice persimmons approx. 1/4” thick

2. Spray baking racks lightly with oil

3. Lay persimmon slices on racks so that each slice is touching the rack

4. Bake for 1 1/2 —2hrs. , check if no longer sticky. If they are, bake for another 1/2 hr. (another method is to bake in 100 degree oven overnight- I discovered this by accident as the oven was still hot and I’d left the racks in overnight. I’ve had success with both methods).

Enjoy!

Sliced fresh persimmons on a green cutting surface

Sliced Fresh Persimmons

Sliced fresh persimmons on baking rack

Sliced fresh persimmons on baking rack

Rick eating a dried persimmon and holdin a tea cup with one in the tea

Rick enjoying the results

Cup of tea with dried persimmons in it

A  cup of tea with persimmons in it.

 

Health Benefits of Persimmons

 

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Persimmon and Endive Salad

After lots of rich food, cocktails and wines over the holiday rush, parties and family celebrations, I welcome a crisp salad using fresh winter ingredients,  including the sweet taste of Fuyu persimmons, which are abundant during this season. As you probably know, there are two kinds of this golden orange fruit; the Fuyu, which can be eaten raw, like an apple, and the Hayachi, usually used in cooking, as it must be allowed to ripen until soft and mushy, otherwise it is very astringent. See the link below for an overview of persimmons.

For this salad I use the Fuyu and endive, which slightly bitter taste combines well with the sweetness of the persimmon. Add fresh crunchy romaine, some arugula, with a savory, tart dressing based on olive and walnut oil, and you have a salad that is refreshing for a jaded holiday palette and simply delicious.

http://localfoods.about.com/od/persimmons/tp/persimmons.htm

Persimmon and Endive Salad

INGREDIENTS (serves 3-4)

  • 1 romaine lettuce, torn into bite- size pieces
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 Fuyu persimmon, sliced into thin slices
  • 1-2 endives, (depending on size), sliced
  • Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Walnut or other nut oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Garnish:
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • Herbs de Provence
  • Salt free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. Add romaine and arugula in a large salad bowl.

2. Wisk dressing ingredients in a separate bowl or container.

3. Dress and toss the salad greens before adding other ingredients on top, (a technique so that the toppings stay on top–from Rick’s daughter who worked as a catering assistant).

4. Add sliced endive and persimmons on top of dressed greens.

5. Sprinkle with sliced almonds, Herb de Provence and seasonings.

Enjoy!

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